When duckpin bowling was at its peak popularity in the Northeast, Atlanta produced the nation's champion, Albert Burrell.
"He was an exceptionally good bowler at 18," said Bill Hargrove of Clermont, at 102 the nation's oldest bowler. "We used to go all over the country playing in tournaments."
Mr. Hargrove was right by his side when Mr. Burrell won the 1956 National Duckpin Bowling Championship. He had been with him in Hagerstown, Md., in 1954 at the nation's first duckpin all-star tournament, when Mr. Burrell came in second.
"We were proud of Albert. That was quite something even to be in the first 10, but we were especially proud of Albert because he was from Atlanta," said Mr. Hargrove.
"At that time, the better duckpin bowlers were in Connecticut, and he showed them about bowling," he added.
The funeral for Albert Paul Burrell, 79, of Loganville is 2 p.m. today at Snellville First Baptist Church. He died of a heart attack Friday while bowling his last frame at Suburbia Lanes. Tom M. Wages, Snellville Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Burrell, an Atlanta native, used to manage Lucky Strike bowling alley across from the Fox Theatre, said his daughter Micky Chitwood of Loganville.
He made his living in the tire business, first with Duke Tire in Atlanta and later with Kelly Springfield, which bought out Duke Tire. In 1968, he opened Walton Tire in Loganville, retiring in 1991, said his son Ken Burrell of Loganville.
That left him more time for bowling, both duckpin and 10 pin. "He just liked competition, he liked the strategy," said his son.
In duckpin bowling, pins are 9 inches high rather than 15, and balls weigh less than 4 pounds, instead of 10 pounds or more. In each of 10 frames, the bowler has three tries to knock down all the pins.
At Loganville High School home football games, Mr. Burrell could be spotted running the field with the chain marking downs, said his son. "He got the best seats in the house. He was always a strong supporter of the community. He helped out any way he could."
Survivors include two other daughters, Susan Hutchinson of Springfield, Va., and Paula Davis of Fayetteville; three other sons, Rick Burrell and Ross Burrell, both of Loganville, and Tim Burrell of Concord, N.C.; a brother, Grady Burrell of Summerville; 22 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.